February 12, 2007 by lonbud
I Pity The Fool
George W. Bush sputtered out his infamous mangling of the old “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” saying back in September 2002, when his administration was feverishly spinning suspect intelligence, outright lies, and frightening innuendo to garner public support for its ill-fated adventure in Iraq.
Now, more than three years later, after public mea culpas from everyone — it seems — but Mr. Bush and Dick Cheney themselves, the news is awash with anonymously sourced, unproven allegations that the government of Iran is behind the chaos and bloodshed persisting in Iraq today.
This past Saturday’s New York Times featured a front-page article by Michael Gordon, who appears to have taken over Judith Miller’s one-time role as the “newspaper of record”‘s chief-propagandist for the Bush administration. Mr. Gordon’s article presented as fact the dubious claim that “the most lethal weapon directed against American troops in Iraq is an explosive-packed cylinder that United States intelligence asserts is being supplied by Iran.” Not only is the provocative charge attributed to anonymous “government officials,” it flies in the face of logic.
And the Times is roundly considered to be the most liberal of the major market dailies. For a thorough skewering of Mr. Gordon and his brand of stenographic journalism, see Glenn Greenwald’s excellent post in today’s Salon.
So now we’ve got three aircraft carrier groups in or on their way to the Persian Gulf. We’ve got the U.S. state Department requesting the detention of former Iranian diplomats abroad, the U.S. military arresting and possibly directing kidnapping operations against Iranian diplomatic personnel in Iraq, along with the illogical, inflammatory “news” items being planted in the press pointing to Iran’s nefarious intentions in the region — and we’ve got officials of the government declaring publicly there are “no plans” to attack or wage “preemptive war” against Iran.
I’ve seen this movie, too, and it’s called Groundhog Day. One can only hope our real-life experience has as happy an ending.